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How to properly wrap and store a long extension cable

Avoid messes and tangles by using a daisy chain when wrapping and storing extension cables.

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Taylor Martin/CNET

Extension cords are an immensely helpful tool to have on hand.

They're also very prone to becoming tangled. With extension cables that range from 50 to 100 feet (15.3 to 30.5 meters) long and beyond, a simple task that calls for an extension cable might take two or three times as long if you have even a small tangle.

To avoid a tangles altogether, use the proper way to wrap and store it: the daisy chain.

How to tie a daisy chain

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Taylor Martin/CNET
  • Begin by laying out the extension cable. Line up the opposite ends and pull the cable through your hands until you find the center point.
  • To quickly find the exact center more quickly in the future wrap a small piece of electrical or duct tape around it.
  • Next, make a loop with the center point of the cord and tie an overhand knot, so that one side of the knot has the two trailing loose ends and the other side of the knot is the looped center point, roughly 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) in length.
  • Reach your hand through the looped end, grab the two loose ends and pull them through the loop.
  • This will create a new loop. Reach your hand through it, grab the loose ends and pull them through the new loop. Repeat this step until you reach the male and female plugs.
  • Pull the two ends through the final loop and connect them together. The daisy chain is now complete.

This may make the extension cord look like a mess of knots, but it actually keeps the cord from getting tangled during transport or storage. This method of storage is used by electricians, for climbing rope and often for parachute suspension lines.

You can also use a carabiner to clip the plug end and loop end of the daisy chain together to shorten the overall length and make it easier to store. You can then clip the carabiner to wire shelving or hang it on a nail or hook in the garage.

To use the extension cable, simply locate the plugs, push them back through the final loop, and pull. The extension cable will come undone very easily and completely free of tangles. Also, if you don't want to use the entire length of the extension cord, you can leave part of it in the daisy chain, and you won't have to wrap the entire cord back up.